|"My Hypothetical Friend"|
|Type of Appearance:||Direct POV|
|Nationality:||United States of America|
|Date of Birth:||2001|
|Professional Affiliations:||Interstellar Master Traders|
David "Dave" Markarian (b. 2001) was the president and CEO of Interstellar Master Traders, a company that manufactured products for the Brot and sold Brot products to human buyers. He and his wife resided in Fresno. His ancestors came from Armenia in the 1920s.
For over thirty years, Markarian worked with a Brot he'd dubbed "Old Salty" (he couldn't quite say the Brot's actual name). Old Salty, like the other Brot, was very specific about what he/she/it wanted Markarian's company to do. Markarian was aware of how particular the Brot were, even going to far as to ending contracts with human business partners. While Markarian occasionally made suggestions about production, he always followed Old Salty's directions.
One afternoon, Markarian met with Old Salty for what proved to be the last time. Old Salty informed Markarian that he/she/it would be returning home once their meeting was concluded. While Markarian was understandably curious about how Old Salty felt about leaving Earth, Old Salty did not elaborate on his/her/its feelings. Markarian announced Old Salty's departure to the rest of the company. Old Salty was able convey that he/she/it knew IMT understood the Brot better than most of humanity. Markarian then showed Old Salty newest product, which Old Salty said was for entertainment. Old Salty was satisfied with what he/she/it saw, and the two retired to Markarian's office, where Markarian presented Old Salty a gift.
Markarian collected California Raisins toys. He explained the history of the Raisins to Old Salty, and the fact that the American companies had the production of toys outsourced to China in the 1980s, at a time when China was technologically behind the United States. He explained that the people who built these toys were primarily Chinese peasants who had absolutely no idea what they were building or why. While Old Salty took the toy, he/she/it seemed to value the fact that Markarian understood the Brot. With that, Old Salty took his/her/its leave.
- Analog: Science Fiction and Fact, Vol. CXXXX1, Nos. 1 & 2, January/February, 2021, pg. 30.
- Ibid., pg. 37.
- Ibid., pgs. 30-31.
- Ibid. pg. 33-36.
- Ibid., pgs. 36-38.